Drunk Driving

—–Original Message—–
From: R
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2018 3:52 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Explain why driving drunk should NOT be considered illegal, or is a violation of the NAP, as an “act of aggression”

Dear Dr. Block, Please explain to us libertarians (and to others) as simply and as cogently as possible, why driving under the influence (DUI) or while otherwise impaired (drugs, etc.) should NOT be considered a violation of the NAP (non-aggression principle of force, or imminent threat of force), and also not made illegal as is presently. Curious, on why the NAP is not relevant! [There is obviously no imminent threat from those impaired when not driving, so does driving radically change the perception–as the law says, or not really?] Thank you so much for patiently explaining how society would be better and should be living under the NAP ideas! Yours always, R, LRC and Mises member

Dear R: This is a very important question you raise. Libertarians, I think, are of two (or more) minds on this. On the one hand, merely getting behind the wheel of a car and driving it, while drunk, is not a per se violation of rights. No harm, no foul. If such a motorist hits someone or destroys property, he can be held responsible for that, and his inebriation should be irrelevant. On the other hand, drunken (or drugged) drivers can, not totally unreasonably, be considered a threat, and the NAP opposes not only the initiation of violation against innocents, but also the threat thereof. There have been cases, when a well-oiled driver was sleeping it off at the side of the road and was arrested for that act. Here, surely, there was no threat. I have written a bit about this issue in the following publication, so if you wish to pursue this question further you might access it:

Block, Walter E. 2009. The Privatization of Roads and Highways: Human and Economic Factors; Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute; http://www.amazon.com/Privatization-Roads-And-Highways-Factors/dp/1279887303/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336605800&sr=1-1; available for free here: http://mises.org/books/roads_web.pdf; http://mises.org/daily/3416; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/radical_privatization.pdf; audio: http://store.mises.org/Privatization-of-Roads-and-Highways-Audiobook-P11005.aspx; http://www.audible.com/pd/Business/The-Privatization-of-Roads-and-Highways-Audiobook/B0167IT18K?tag=misesinsti-20; http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=bf16b152ccc444bdbbcc229e4&id=6cbc90577b&e=54244ea97d


10:01 pm on February 25, 2018